Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief James Conroy of the East Brunswick Police Department announced today that two people from Bronx, New York and a rabbi from East Brunswick have been charged in connection to the human trafficking and prostitution of a 17-year old girl from Lancaster PA.
Gabriella Colon, 18, and Richard Ortiz, 23, both of Bronx, New York have been charged with 11 criminal counts including human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking, promoting prostitution of a child, conspiracy to promote prostitution of a child, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal restraint, and a number of child pornography offenses including the manufacturing, distribution and possession of pornography.
Ms. Colon and Mr. Ortiz were arrested at a motel in Fort Lee on February 16, 2018. Both are being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick pending a Detention Hearing.
Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 35, from East Brunswick is charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey noted in an updated press release the following: “Rabbi Aryeh Goodman was performing in a religious capacity at a Jewish religious center out of his home in East Brunswick and may have affiliation with another religious center on Lexington Avenue in East Brunswick Township. [Rabbi] Goodman and his center are not affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement.”
Rabbi Goodman turned himself in to authorities at the East Brunswick Police Department while accompanied by his attorney on February 6, 2018.
The investigation determined that Ms. Colon and Mr. Ortiz sold the sexual services of a 17-year old female to approximately 30 men from January 1, 2018 to February 2, 2018, at a hotel in East Brunswick. In addition, the investigation revealed that on February 1, 2018 the Rabbi engaged in sexual relations with the 17-year old at a hotel in East Brunswick.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Chris Farrace or Detective Dan Unkel of the East Brunswick Police Department at (732) 390-6900, or Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4194.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Ms. Colon, Mr. Ortiz and Rabbi Goodman are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.